Text Box: Utilizing Client Feedback to Foster Success

Client Feedback may be as simple as a customer representative asking a question at checkout, but not all client feedback is as integrated into a business’ everyday affairs. That is especially true if a business does not have a physical store or other location where clients or customers come face-to-face with those running the operation. How will their responses ever reach the right ears? And, once heard, how should you go about applying this knowledge in future business decisions?
Why Gather Client Feedback?
Client feedback, simply put, is a way to enable communication. In turn, that creates healthier client relations. By bettering relationships and fostering a positive reputation, a business develops a name that speaks and advertises for itself. You should start to see the amount of new clients increase, as well as retention rates. Thus, a little personal investment can go a long way in bolstering revenue and success.
Customer and client feedback can help reveal flaws in a business: places to be more efficient, perceptions regarding your pricing, etc. It can also pinpoint what your business does well; aspects that you can maintain and even showcase in reviews or company standards.
How to Gather Client Feedback
If your business operates through brick and mortar stores, customer interaction can be observed and taken into account by direct communication. In the online world, however, face-to-face communication is not possible. So how can you understand why your clients are doing what they do, or why customers are buying what they buy?
We suggest client feedback tools, like online polls and optional phone surveys, to reach your most distant demographic. A third party feedback provider can help you locate and translate the most meaningful information without bias. In addition, following changes to certain practices, monitor customer behavior and sales performance.
Most customers just want to be listened to, which is often the best incentive for clients to share feedback. Discounts and other rewards won’t include a diverse range of customers or encourage full disclosure. Instead, show them that they are being incorporated into your vision. You will become a company who not only listens, but responds.
Making the Most of Client Feedback
Putting feedback into action is often the most complex and time-consuming part of gathering client responses. You must organize strategic timelines for the flaws you find on three fronts: immediate, short-term, and long-term. The immediate front will include action that should take place as soon as possible. The short-term front may require a few weeks to a few months of planning. The long-term front pertains to brand-altering or revolutionizing ideas, which will take a steady, gradual change, perhaps over several years.
Once you’ve tested and implemented a potential solution, don’t forget to update those involved, the customer or client! They will appreciate the information and trust that your business is listening to their concerns and desires.
The final step to take with client feedback is tracking the results. Even if nothing seems dramatically altered, that doesn’t mean that changes aren’t happening under the surface or over a larger stretch of time. Be patient, observe, and continue to improve your customer and client relations.
Are you looking to take the next step by investing in a small business or merging? Sunbelt Business Brokers is the world’s largest business brokerage in the world, specializing in educating business leaders in buying and selling small to medium sized businesses. With established business brokers and plentiful resources, Sunbelt will guide you every step of the way.

At Sunbelt Business Brokers®, our only job is selling businesses.
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About the Author
John Davies is the CEO of Sunbelt Business Brokers and Sunbelt’s parent company, Merrymeeting, Inc. He has over 30 years of deal making experience as a consultant, intermediary and private equity investor. John currently co-owns a portfolio of 15 companies, including a broker dealer. His professional credentials include being a CPA, Chartered Financial Consultant, Chartered Life Underwriter and licensed securities representative. John is a frequent public speaker and co-wrote “Selling Your Business For Dummies”, a Wiley Press publication.

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